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mena, is bestowed on comparatively few; and the more numerous and intricate the causes are whichcombine to wards producing an effect, the more highly gifted in this talent must the mind be which shall be capable of tracing all their relations. In short, the highest development of the upper portion of the forehead is then indispensably necessary to
It happens, however, that individuals, who, by the predo minance of the knowing organs, are admirably fitted for observation, and for handling details, are, by the very same circumstance, little calculated to discover or appreciate the more profound and difficult relations of causation. Hence such “practical men,” as they style themselves, have uniformly been the opponents of every new doctrine in science that required a profound and comprehensive intellect to trace its foundation, relations, and results. Abstract truths appear to such minds vague and impalpable ; and their conception of them is at the best feeble and incomplete. They imagine that this arises from the nature of the propositions themselves, and hence regard them as uncertain and unsafe. When at length abstract doctrines have been reduced to practice, they are capable of appreciating them in their results; but, while they remain creatures of the mind alone, their intellects can, not reach them.
The clamour against Political Economy, and the repeal of the Combination Laws, has, we have perceived, emanated from these knowing heads alone. The speculations which they have given forth on those topics have been characterized by a destitution of every thing resembling Causality; they have seized the surface-views of the questions, the first results, as it were; and, incapable of tracing the distant consequences, they have dogmatized in all the arrogance of selfesteem, unenlightened by real penetration. Every judgment embraces two circumstances—the facts presented to the intellect, and the character of the intellect itself. The last element is almost triforals overlooked by persons who have
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not attained to the practical discrimination conferred by Phrenology; and yet it is nearly as important as the first. If every author were required to print a correct account of his cerebral development in his preface, a great saving of discussion might be effected. We would then acknowledge as authorities only such individuals as possess talents calculated to comprehend the subjects on which they write.
ON THE SEAT AND NATURE OF HYPOCHONDRIASIS AS
ILLUSTRATED BY PHRENOLOGY.*
On seeing the title prefixed to this article, some of our readers may be disposed to ask, how a disquisition upon Hypochondriasis, or any other disease, happens to find a place in the pages of a Phrenological Journal ? A sufficient answer will, we hope, be found in the following considerations.
Hypochondriasis, under its various forms of Vapours, Low Spirits, Ennui, &c. is of so frequent occurrence in this country, that it has been long known on the continent by the appellation of the Maladie Anglaise, first affixed to it by Dr Cheyne. It is indeed so generally prevalent, especially in times of public vicissitude and general adversity, and is so often seen even in the midst of the greatest worldly prosperity, that we question whether we have a single reader who has not, either in his own person, or in that of some near relation, tasted of its pains. In severity also, as well as in frequency, it is often sufficiently formidable. For the misery which accompanies a serious attack, although generally regarded by the ignorant as causeless and imaginary, is, in reality, not inferior in poignancy to any to which mankind is liable; and the dreadful suspicions and gloomy forebodings
• We are indebted for this article to Dr A. Combe.
with which it desolates the mind, and obscures every feeling of happiness, are often so intolerable as to lead their unhappy victim to self-destruction for relief.
On adverting to these facts, the unprofessional reader would be apt to suppose, that, in consequence both of the numerous opportunities of investigation afforded by its acknowledged frequency, and of the magnitude of the interest at stake, no disease could exist, the causes, nature, and treatment of which would be more thoroughly understood than those of Hypochondriasis. But when we state it as a lamentable truth, that scarcely any one malady can be named, in regard to which so much positive discrepancy of opinion obtains, and in the cure of which medical aid is generally of so little avail, it will readily be believed, that some great error, in regard to the nature of the disease, or some great defect in the mode of treatment, must have existed to impede the progress of the profession towards a happier result; and it will then be readily admitted, that every rational attempt to expose the sources of that error, and to provide a safer and a surer guide, ought not only to be received with interest by the members of the medical profession, but to be welcomed in a still higher degree by the public, who are themselves the chief sufferers from the prevailing ignorance on the subject ; and therefore, when we add, that Phrenology, viewed as the true physiology of the brain, affords many facilities, for the more successful elucidation of the real nature of this disease, we trust we shall have said enough to satisfy even the most scrupulous reader, that the subject is not so foreign to our pages as he may at first have supposed.
The first point which demands our attention, in investigating the nature of any obscure disease, is to ascertain its corporeal seat. Different external circumstances, and different remedies, act more directly upon one part of the body than upon another ; some, for instance, act in preference upon the brain, others upon the stomach, and others again upon the kidneys, or heart ; and, consequently, as no method of cure can be either judiciously, or even safely employed, un
less it is exactly adapted to the nature and functions of the organ chiefly affected, it is with great justice held as an established maxim in medicine, that the knowledge of the seat of a disease is half its cure; and, perhaps, no better illustration of the truth and importance of this principle could be wished for than that afforded by Hypochondriasis itself. If, for example, as many have taught, it is a purely mental affection, having no corporeal seat, then it follows that corporeal causes can have no share in its production, and that corporeal remedies can be of no avail in its cure. If, again, as is generally supposed, and as the name itself indicates, it has its seat in the digestive viscera lying under the false ribs, then it as necessarily follows, that such causes only as tend to act upon these viscera ought especially to produce it, and that its cure ought to be effected by guarding, in an especial manner, against these, and by the administration of remedies calculated to improve the digestive functions ;-and, lastly, if, as a few late authors maintain, and as we shall endeavour to prove, it has really its seat in the brain, then it ought to spring chiefly from physical or moral causes acting upon that organ, , and through its medium upon the mind; and a mode of treatment providing against these, and adapted to the nature of the cerebral functions, ought to be the most rational and successful, while tonics and stomachics, which, on the second supposition, are the remedies chiefly indicated, ought, if this view is correct, to be attended, if not with harm, at least with no conspicuous benefit.
Important, then, as the consequences depending upon a right knowledge of the seats of diseases unquestionably are, we shall not consider our time misspent if, in the following pages, we can succeed in shewing that the symptoms, causes, and method of cure of Hypochondriasis, all concur in indicating it to be an affection of the mind, depending, in every instance, on a cerebral cause, and that the derangement of the digestive and other functions, so frequently attending it, are
consecutive or secondary only, and not at all essential to its existence.
Dissection after death, taken in connexion with the origin and progress of any disease, is the surest method of detecting its seat. In the present case, however, it is inapplicable, Hypochondriasis proving fatal so rarely as to afford very few opportunities of putting it in practice. Our endeavours, therefore, must be confined to the only method which is ticable during life-viz. to an analysis of the essentia or constituent symptoms; and this is fortunately sufficient for the purpose.
To arrive with certainty at a knowledge of the seat of any malady by analyzing its symptoms, we must constantly be guided by, and never for a moment lose sight of, a principle in itself simple and undeniable, and in its results of the highest importance, but which, nevertheless, is too often neglected, viz. that no function can be deranged without a previous or concomitant derangement of the organ which performs it. Vision, for instance, can never be affected unless the eye is disordered ; nor hearing, unless the ear is diseased : nor digestion, while the stomach remains unaffected ; and, consequenlty, when we perceive any function impaired or exalted, we are as certain as if we saw it with our eyes that the organ which performs that function is also in a morbid state. From this undeniable proposition it follows, that if, in any given disease, we can prove that a particular function is the only one which is INVARIABLY affected, we are entitled, by every rule of logic, to hold, that the disease must have its seat in the particular organ corresponding to that function. Such, accordingly, is the principle, and such the mode of reasoning, by which we endeavour, at the bedside of the patient, to detect the seat of his malady, and upon the soundness of which alone the choice of all our remedies in fact depends.
To the conclusiveness of this mode of proceeding may be objected, first, our imperfect knowledge of the physiology or